University seeks reputation improvement through enrollment

Category:  News
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 7:10 PM
University seeks reputation improvement through enrollment by Macala Leigey
Graphic: Shelby Kirk

“We won’t be the safety school. We will be the first choice school,” said Edinboro University’s Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. William Edmonds regarding the recent change in admission standards at Edinboro.

Starting next fall, Edinboro University’s admission standards will utilize a new equation that takes both high school grade point average (GPA) and standardized test scores into account, with more weight placed on a prospective student’s GPA, rather than on their standardized test scores.

“A lot of students are using Edinboro University as a safety school; they’re not using Edinboro as a primary choice. In making this change, by not admitting just every student that applies to the university, we are going to look at the students who have the propensity of being successful,” said Edmonds.

He continued: “When you’re accepting 99 percent of the students, you have wide range of student preparedness, from very to maybe not as prepared.”

Edinboro’s new enrollment requirement will place 80 percent weight on high school GPA and 20 percent on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT), while also taking into consideration coursework completed throughout high school, and class rank. “One of the biggest predictors of student success is highschool performance [and] high school GPA. So as we looked at that, [and] trying to be fair with our admissions policy and criteria, we determined [to] put more weight on the high school GPA and the courses students are taking in high school,” said Edmonds.

He continued: “The focal point is on student success. We cannot continue to let students start here, not make it academically, and then have to step away from the campus [with] debt, some college credits [and] no degree — we’re trying to change that.”

The decision to modify the admission standards came with the ongoing theme of new practices and changes occurring at Edinboro University.

“I’m new to the university; we have a new president. Everything is right for change, in terms of looking into the enrollment management area,” said Edmonds.

Regarding the admission of students in the Office of Disabilities (OSD) program, the new enrollment requirements will apply to all students enrolling at Edinboro.

“In terms of being equitable to all students, they must meet the admissions criteria. Part of the admissions process, in terms of being blind to students’ ability [or] disability, all students must meet the admissions criteria. Then once [they] meet the admissions criteria, services can be applied to the student,” said Edmonds.

With the adaptation of new admission standards, Edmonds predicts a short period of decreased enrollment rates at Edinboro, but in the long-run a major increase in education and student quality.

“It won’t happen overnight that we become the school of choice. Initially, these are hard decisions, and we may take a slight enrollment hit because we aren’t just opening the floodgates to accept every student that is interested. So we have to give this a little bit of time to gain momentum and traction in our community,” said Edmonds.

He continued: “We are going down a new path, we are looking at being sustainable, we are trying to make sure the university is here for many generations and years to come. We have to turn out a good product into the workforce. We’re definitely going down the right road.”

Macala Leigey is a managing editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com. 

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